What is the Common Breeding Bird Survey (MPPL)?


The Common Breeding Bird Survey (MPPL) is a long-term survey whose aim is to obtain annual indices of the numbers of the most common 80-100 bird species in Poland. The MPPL is part of the State Environmental Monitoring, which is coordinated by the Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection. Birds are a very good indicator of environmental quality and changes of their numbers provide information on the condition of the whole natural environment in which we live. Tracking these changes also allows effective protection of decreasing or endangered species.

How do we carry out the MPPL?

MPPL fieldwork involves over 300 highly qualified volunteers from across Poland. In each of the 15 avifauna regions, fieldwork is managed by a regional coordinator. Birds are surveyed in about  560 randomly selected 1 km2 sample plots. Each plot is surveyed twice in the breeding season, using standard and robust methods. All the individuals that are seen or heard are recorded. Observers also record sightings of mammals and describe the habitat.

What is the MPPL used for?

Thanks to the MPPL, we determine trends of common bird species and obtain data on their occupancy. The results are used to quantify two aggregated indices that reflect changes in the state of avifauna in farmland and forest. Changes in farmland are monitored with the Farmland Bird Index, which provides information on the condition of the populations of common farmland birds. This index is one of the so-called structural indices, which provide a measure of the progress of UE member states in implementation of the Lisbon Strategy. Forest bird trends are reflected by the Forest Bird Index, which is a metric related to common forest birds.
The data collected in the MPPL survey can also be used for other research purposes, e.g. to create predictive distribution maps of common bird species, i.e. maps of their expected distribution (see the Atlas of common breeding birds in the Download section) and for a range of other scientific and statistical analyses.

Who uses the MPPL data and where can it be found?

The MPPL is commissioned and the collected data is published by the Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection, as part of the State Environmental Monitoring. In the GIOŚ web site www.monitoringptakow.gios.gov.pl you will find a description of the complete bird monitoring scheme in Poland along with the database and results for each individual species. GIOŚ also publishes MPPL results in periodic reports in the  “Biuletyn Monitoringu Przyrody”, issued in the “Biblioteka Monitoringu Środowiska” (Environmental Monitoring Library) series (see: Download).

In addition, the MPPL data is used by other state administration authorities, the European Commission, EuroStat, the Central Statistical Office (GUS), scientists and other nature conservation organisations.


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